General Question

iamthemob's avatar

What would be the structure of your ideal salary, and why?

Asked by iamthemob (17121 points ) August 30th, 2010

I was wondering how people would respond if they could essentially create their own incentive package. Do you really just want to be making X more than you are now? Would you rather make just a little more if you could get a better health insurance package, and what would be in it? How much less would you take for more benefits, and what kind of benefits – or how much less would you take for more paid vacation? Would you trade paid vacation (but still be able to take the time off without pay) for a completely flexible schedule (i.e., you can structure your workday however you want, and spread it out over as much or as little of the week as you want)?

I’d love to here both what people want, and also what they think the realistic barriers are to making that happen. Everyone should be creative, and here is some information on incentive programs, but also be realistic based on what kind of work you do (feel free to share as much as you’d like, but realize the internet is a public place ;-)).

Thanks!

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63 Answers

CMaz's avatar

As long as it added up to 80K all would be good.

That being the saturation number that would allow you to afford your needs, have some fun and some left over to save.

Not to say you can’t do it for less. If all your ducks are/have been in a row.

CaptainHarley's avatar

My wife and I need very little, since we have almost no bills other than the usual monthly ones. We get by quite well on my military retirement and my VA disability payments.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t need health benefits through my employer since we have them through my husband’s employer. I would rather make more money per hour since I wouldn’t be taking the health insurance. I would like to make a lot more than I do right now, but that’s a regional issue. I’ve worked a full time set schedule and a relief schedule where I picked up whichever shifts I wants. I love the freedom of the relief schedule I had. I love being able to work when I want and take time off when I want (even if it’s not paid).

iamthemob's avatar

@ChazMaz

I think I read somewhere that that was around the number where increases in salary started to have statistically insignificant effects on an increase in the employee’s happiness…so yeah, I get that as a number.

However, is salary really it? What if you had the option to trade salary “credits” or something like that to have more free time?

On the flipside, then, what if you have the $80,000, but it’s attached to a regular 70 hour work week, you have to be in blackberry contact otherwise, and planning a vacation might very well be a nightmare (you see yourself probably having to cancel most of them…).

iamthemob's avatar

@CaptainHarley

Glad to hear it – but when you were in the military, was there anything you would have changed about the salary structure what would have made it more satisfying for you? If not, what worked so well about it? And do you think that it was sufficiently attractive to bring in good, new talent then?

CaptainHarley's avatar

@iamthemob

LOL! Changing our paystructure, or my pay, or the way it was structured never crossed my mind. If you’re in the military for the pay you’re not wrapped too tightly to begin with. : )

When I was in the active Army, they could still draft people, so bringing in good, new talent at the lower ranks wasn’t an issue.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

So which made you happier, do you think – when you had more money coming in or being able to have the relief schedule? Was there anything else about the job that you think could have been improved through free programs (like…commutes are dead time…what if you got paid for your time commuting as long as you were on time?).

CMaz's avatar

“However, is salary really it? What if you had the option to trade salary “credits” or something like that to have more free time?”

That is the situation I am in. It is better then nothing. But would rather have the security that extra finances can provide.

“what if you have the $80,000, but it’s attached to a regular 70 hour work week, ”
Its not the hours you put in. But what you bring home. One day you will retire. (hopefully)
and you hope you can.

It might “suck” to have to put in so many hours to have that money. But, it is nice having the mortgage paid off. A reliable car in the driveway. And, emergence money on the side.

Might be harder to plan time off. But peace of mind is where it is at. And eventually you can pull back.

iamthemob's avatar

@CaptainHarley

That’s what I’m asking though – what would you change, why, what would stop you, etc. If not your pay, is there something you see about the way others are paid that you’d change because you think it would increase their productivity, loyalty, etc.?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob Actually, I made more per hour for doing the relief schedule because part of the deal was that I was not eligible for their benefits. I was able to work 60 hour weeks at times because of the need for nurses in that area and made a lot of money (I still got time and a half for the hours over 40). I loved every aspect of that job and would love to have it back. I made more than double what I make now. I only had about a 15 minute drive to get to work. I don’t really think I should have gotten paid for driving to work because I never drove straight to work. I always stopped in the morning to take my son to daycare and then to get breakfast. I also don’t consider commutes to be dead time. To me, those commutes were often the only time I had to myself. In the morning before going to work, the commute was when I would clear my mind of any personal issues and prepare myself for going to work. The commute home was when I would decompress, clear my mind of any work issues, and prepare myself for being home and focusing on my family.

iamthemob's avatar

@ChazMaz

Sure, it’s better than nothing. But I’m asking you to write your own rules. :-)

Is there nothing that you would rather have than a higher salary? A lower salary doesn’t mean you’re automatically less liquid if your pay package could offset equivalent costs.

And if salary is pretty much it for you, would another company’s offer that increased your salary a modest amount be more likely to get you to change? Or the same salary and a great benefit package?

Could your current job do more generally to inspire loyalty so that even if you got these offers, you’d stay where you are? (even hypothetically).

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

So what do you think you would like to happen in a situation where people around you were accepting salaried employment which was a good increase over what their average hourly pay over a good business year was, (knowing that being salaried means your exempted from a lot of employment protections)? What would you look for in a package if they started negotiating with you?

Seaofclouds's avatar

After that job where I was able to work 20 hours of overtime a week. I really don’t think I would ever go salary. I like working overtime and getting paid for it. If I were to consider a salary, it would have to be close to what I can make with overtime pay.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

In lieu of the overtime equivalent pay, what about something that offset some costs of things that would benefit you’re family?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob I honestly can’t really think of anything that would offset costs of other things or benefit my family. I’d rather have the pay and be able to do with it what I want. The only thing I’ve ever had that offset some costs is an employee discount with Verizon, but that was available to all employees of the company, no matter what pay level they were in and I wouldn’t trade my overtime pay for it.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

Tuition reimbursement? Or scholarships?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob All of the hospitals I’ve worked for offer those to all of their employees. Considering I’m pretty much done with school (and if I ever went back it wouldn’t benefit the hospital), that would be irrelevant for me. You have to realize, with my pay at that time, my overtime pay was a nice chunk of change. I was making $32 an hour, plus shift differential. When I worked overtime, I was making $48 per hour (plus shift differential). At 20 hours of overtime a week, that was at least an extra $4000 a month before taxes. It’s really hard to just give that extra money up and I’d love to be at that point again.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds
I was thinking more about the offer being extended to your kids (I saw you wrote family, I just assumed kids…:-).

Alright…what about if there was a mandatory salary reduction? What kind of non-salary based incentives would make this less painful?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob I’ve never heard of an employer offering tuition reimbursement to kids (except when you work for an actual university). That would be a nice idea. If I had to pick non-salary incentives over my pay, I would want stock options.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@iamthemob

Pay is what is called a “dissatisfier.” It is only a motivator for most people when you don’t have enough to pay your living expenses. Beyond that, it’s a motivator only for those who use money to measure themselves against the pay others get, as a sort of recognition. For most other people, pay has a break even point where more money gets very little increase in motivation.

CMaz's avatar

All I can say is…

Show me the the money!

iamthemob's avatar

@CaptainHarley

I think that’s an oversimplification. Taken in isolation, once basic needs are met, there’s a generally negligible increase in happiness with each subsequent increase in salary, true. But that doesn’t speak to any increase in benefits. These have a dollar value, but may be worth more emotionally – as signals that the company you work for might actually be concerned with your well being. Also, I don’t judge my performance or the importance of my work by the amount of money I make at all, but I think that’s fairly rare. And if I were in a situation where everyone around me was receiving pay increases and I wasn’t, even in the face of good reports I would wonder if I was preforming at a level less than them. I’m willing to bet that pay works as an indicator (if not a motivator) in this way to most people.

Plus, what about situations where you don’t like your job…but you love the people you work with and you can do the work regardless. It seems everyone’s stuck on the “Office Space” principle of “this will be enough so I feel comfortable, and therefore I’ll work enough not to get fired” instead of investing interest in the performance of your employer beyond your performance…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would like to be making 20K more.

iamthemob's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvior

In salary? What other incentives of the same or similar value would you like?

And what more would you do to get that?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The company I worked for was pretty darn good, and one of my favorite jobs was inspecting hotels. We were on the road for 11–12 days and essentially had the next 8–9 days working from home. Some of the days on the road could be long, but there were enough times that one could do some personal things. And if you got most of the administrative work done while traveling, the week at home pretty much became a week off. Some of non-salaried benefits were:
* Less money spent on personal items, such as food, utilities and car, dry-cleaning – one person moved back in with a parent and didn’t need to pay rent or a mortgage
* By knowing when our weeks off were, home projects could be scheduled and completed with total focus
* Company-issued cell phone/Blackberry and laptop
* The schedule was set for the year, so you could plan vacations in advance
* Goals were set based upon very objective measurements, and our performance was shared with us each quarter, so we knew how we were doing
* Year-end bonuses based upon meeting and exceeding goals
* Bonuses for inspecting a certain # of extra hotels and for training new inspectors
* Medical/dental/vision/pet insurance covered by the company
* ^ Many of the paycheck deductions were done before taxes
* Tuition reimbursement programs for both employees and an annual program where they could nominate their children for a grant program
* A company-wide recognition program that amongst other things, awarded $500 to each month’s winner
* There were all types of professional development opportunities – I was able to spend time with the architects, project planners, feasibility study dept., operations team, marketing team, etc. The co-workers who were ready for a change often ended up in one of these depts.

The most important benefit, for me, was working for and with many wonderful people. My supervisor set me up for success and supported me. Co-workers were only a phone call away when a question arose. Without this support system, I would have moved on shortly after taking the job.

iamthemob's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer

AWESOME…thank you so much! So, do you think that the reason why you worked with such wonderful people was partially because the pay system engendered loyalty? Or do you see any connection….

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@iamthemob I’d want a good insurance plan that doesn’t only cover 80% so anything to get me to 100% in terms of health coverage and I’d definitely want better dental – otherwise, nothign more. As to what I’m doing to get myself there, I’m going to get another degree so that I can then ask for better salaries from my future employees.

iamthemob's avatar

Is your employer reimbursing the tuition?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Have you read anything by Abraham Maslow? Some of his stuff has been subsequently disproven, but as far as I know his “satisfier/dissatisfier” dichotomy still holds true. What truly motivates most people is the job itself, which makes that a “satisfier.”

As for me, personally, give me enough to meet expenses, with enough left over to help my children and grandchildren when needed, and to leave my wife well enough off that she should never want for anything. : )

JLeslie's avatar

Can I be paid more and have single payer healthcare? Or, does it have to be something realistic? I like my dad’s set up. He worked for the federal government, he was a commissioned officer. His pay was adequate, free health care through the military, and full retirement eligibility after 20 years.

Realistically, since my husband nor I work for the government or military, I would like to be given the money his company spends on our healthcare and get to choose my own healthcare insurance once regs change on pre-existing. Long term disability is important to me, I like that to be offered with my job. Everything else I think it is better to buy on your own. Life insurance, people should have it outside of their jobs, give me any cash the company is spending on that in my hot little hand also.

I hate that we rely on our workplace for security, when jobs are anything but secure.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@iamthemob Yes, the offering salary has something to do with it. One of the requirements for the job was having worked as a hotel manager, and many aren’t paid that well. Inspecting was often a bump up for many of them. And while we would explain the non-salaried benefits on the front end, I doubt most of them grasped it until they had been in it for awhile and saw how it positively impacted their personal budget or bank statement.

One other benefit offered – each hotel is required to set aside a certain number of rooms each night at an employee discount of $30–50, depending on the brand. With almost 4000 hotels in 81 different companies, it is very much taken advantage of, particularly by team members who wouldn’t be able to afford to otherwise.

A VP in the company once surveyed 40,000 line level team members on why they might consider leaving their job. The results were shocking for most of the managers. When asked what they thought #1 was, almost everyone said ‘Salary’. #1 was ‘Lack of Recognition’. I don’t remember the exact order, but others were things like, not having the tools and supplies to do their job, lack of training, scheduling (with the details meaning that they often worked in an environment where they really needed additional bodies there to cover the workload effectively), fairness, management styles…#10 was ‘Salary’.

When I thought about it, it made sense. An employee gives their notice, and the manager asks them why. The typical response is, “I got a job down the road that pays $.25 more an hour.” Management chalks it up to salary, when, in fact, they are leaving an 8–10 a day work environment that they have come to no longer enjoy.

While inspecting hotels, (and almost all of them were franchised), I’d ask the manager, “How’s turnover?” Each one of them had the same answer – terrible. The difference is that the ones who were not running the hotel as well as others would tell me that they’ve turned over the whole ‘X’ dept. since our last visit 4 months ago. The manager that was stellar and had the support of the owner would say, “Remember Rita the desk clerk? She graduated from college 6 months ago and left to pursue a career in teaching. Our regular guests keep asking about her” Turnover for unavoidable personal reasons is expected; the red flag goes up when it reaches a certain percentage.

iamthemob's avatar

@JLeslie

You bring up a point that I was thinking about too…security as compensation. What if people traded higher salaries for employment contracts excepting them from “at will” employment? So the individual would be under contract with the company, and if for any reason he was terminated before the term, he would receive a severance more along the lines of “liquidated damages” than compensation for a little time.

And there’s no need to limit yourself to reality in your plan except that I hope your honest about what you’re asking for being equivalent to the service you provide. :-)

If, however, you do think that your idea is impossible…why wouldn’t it work?

iamthemob's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer

And high turnover is a HUGE expense for the company. I would love to see the report you reference – is there a link? If not, I think it’s reflective of what people assume – even employees – they want in terms of compensation, which doesn’t necessarily mesh with what they want in terms of their work and their life. The majority of the comments here were deferring to higher salary as opposed to alternative benefits – and I think it’s because the question is posed as “salary” and “compensation.” I wonder if there would be a noticeable difference if it’s “What makes you most happy about your work?”

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Sadly, I did not keep the document regarding reasons for turnover. It belonged to the company I left last year, so did not take a copy with me. The survey was conducted in May of ‘05, and if it were done again, the statistics might change due to the economic turn anyway.

You are right though…many business owners and managers do not realize the cost of turnover. I used to facilitate an exercise where the managers calculated out the cost. Depending upon an employee’s experience level, it can come out to 1.5 times their salary.

Yes, I think you would get different and interesting responses if you asked that question.

JLeslie's avatar

@iamthemob I think you meant to write exempt, and if I understand what you are saying, you are proposing that people have a guaranteed severance if they leave or are let go? Many VP level and higher have one or two years severance guaranteed in their contract if their positions are ever eliminated. Many times it happens when companies merge or are purchased, and the new company has to abide by the contracts put in place by the company they bought. Top executives, those especially who work in industries where acquisitions and merges are common take this type of security very seriously in their benefits package. But I guess you are talking about for all levels?

If I could change the whole job market, lol, I would prefer to have a much more flexible environment, more self contracted work. Flexible hours. No negative thoughts about someone who decided to take a year off and travel the world, none of this having to explain every break in employment. I do think some of this is changing. Ironically massive layoffs have helped change peoples expectation on this. If someone is self contracted, they have to worry about health insurance again.

I can’t have single payer health care, because I don’t see it happening any time soon in the US. Having government run health care means everyone would be liberated. Having healthcare attached to our jobs means we can’t leave our jobs when we hate it. It’s not just preexisting, it is that job pay so much of our healthcare as a perk, and insurance companies see fit to give better prices to groups, I find it to be an outrage, but it is really a topic for another Q. When I worked for a Japanese company they completely paid all of our insurance fees, because they could not imagine that an employee would not be covered, to add my husband cost some minor fee. Back to feeling liberated. I think so many people think in terms of working their whole life, they don’t value this idea. I saved saved saved, so when I hate my job I can quit. I am also one of the loyalist employees you will find.

I want money to reward me for my work, and I do like recognition for a job well done. It does not have to be an award given for all employees to see, in fact I prefer it not be done that way. But, I do want my direct supervisor to let me know when I am doing well, I want him to tell me when something is below par and how to improve it, and want to know my direct reports feel positive about my leadership and are happy at work. I want my government to take care of my healthcare, And I like having social security after retirement, I would willingly pay into both, and I think all people in America should have to. And, I want to be personally responsible for saving money for times I am unemployed, outside of health related issues.

iamthemob's avatar

@JLeslie

Sure – but either or works (excepting/exempting) I believe. ;-)

And yes, I was sort of talking about an employment contract for lower-level employees. I’m wondering, how much to people value a fair assurance of stability in relation to pay? So, if you’re mostly worried about keeping your job, if employer offered a contract at 10% reduced pay but a guarantee of employment mandating only termination for cause, stating that should the company terminate for some reason prior to the contract term end, then, like, future payments under the contract are accelerated.

As to insurance – insurers are also less likely to fund an individual and feel safe about it because (1) you have information they don’t, do if you know things are going south they’re going to suffer a huge loss, as well as (2) they can’t spread the risk effect around among all the other employees.

YARNLADY's avatar

I love this discussion. After being in the work force over 35 years, my husband has salary and benefits along the lines of @Pied_Pfeffer . He is salaried, which means he gets paid the same regardless no matter how many hours he works. He is on call 24 hours a day, but receives 5 weeks paid vacation and 13 days a year personal leave, which does not include sick days. Sick days are counted the same as work days, and he often works from home when he is sick, two or three times a year.

What I would like to see is some kind of government acknowledgment/rebate for the money we spend to support adult family members instead of relying on the taxpayers to do it. We should be allowed to take deductions on our tax return. So far, the only relief we get is the rental home deductions for the depreciation and losses on that house.

iamthemob's avatar

@YARNLADY

I can sympathize with the desire to have some refunds as an acknowledgment for handling costs which might be left for the government to handle otherwise…but…well…you know…

Private actors are generally more equipped to offset such things, as they can do it fairly quickly without considering whether they should add further corn subsidies along with your refund. ;-) What if you had something along the lines of a health insurance gross-up or policy modification including less immediate family members as dependents for insurance purposes? Of some sort of sundries bonus to offset common household costs? (I’m not sure the nature of the support you’re talking about).

iamthemob's avatar

@YARNLADY
Also – regarding your husband’s salary…would you rather there be more of a balance in the free time? (e.g., 3 weeks vacation and a 16 hour call day?)

JLeslie's avatar

@iamthemob I don’t see how a company could guarantee that. I think most people would want the money now. I would only feel safe with a promise like that from the government. We see companies going under and not being able to deliver on pension promises, actually most companies are not even giving pensions any more, so I don’t see how most companies can afford to pay great severance for everyone. I tend to think a bird in the hand, and would rather have my money at the time I perform the work, and save up in my own bank account for a rainy day.

About your point about insurance, if we are all paying into one big pot, the government, the costs are spread even better.

@YARNLADY I though if you financially support anyone they can count as a dependent?

iamthemob's avatar

@YARNLADY
Oh no…not for tax and insurance purposes. Generally you are limited to spouses, children, etc.

rooeytoo's avatar

I always preferred to be paid based on my productivity. In some cases it was difficult to measure in that fashion but there is always a way. The most depressing work situation I was ever in was when I was unionized. I worked hard and did my job well but there were other wankers who took full advantage of the union protection and were not only nonproductive they were actually counter productive in many ways but still drew the same salary as I. Anyhow in the pay for productivity scheme, when I make money for the boss, I want a share of that money.

I am not sure about the health care angle. In Australia there is free medical for all but in all facets of life economics rules the world. There is always private health care for those who are willing to pay. The public health care means you wait for your turn, if you pay your turn comes a lot sooner. So I take advantage of the public health care when I can but if I am in a hurry, then it comes out of my pocket. Well indirectly because I also pay for private health insurance just so I don’t have to wait if anything dire happens and we need immediate attention.

iamthemob's avatar

Which do you think is a better motivator in that situation…productivity pay based on units associated with you…or something where your productivity is linked to a percentage investment in an equivalent percentage of ownership in the company?

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t want to own the company, when I am an employee I want a salary, unless there is a stock option whereby I can purchase at well below the market value.

YARNLADY's avatar

@iamthemob My husband has the ability to trade vacation days for money, and often does. The new owners require a full week at a time, instead of the former day by day trade. He preferred the previous vacation day by day choice, for both pay exchange and for taking days off. The new rules require Mon thru Fri as a vacation choice, and not the former, preferred, take off anytime you want.

However, there are still many good reasons for staying there, such as no salary cap, respect for his ideas, and a good attitude toward budget for improvements.

They are no longer matching or 401K dollar for dollar, so we have lost one important benefit. They do have a pre-tax medical withholding, which is a nice benefit.

JLeslie's avatar

More vacation would be great incentive for me.

m_angelique's avatar

Okay, as a single mom, being salary definately has the benefits of knowing exactly what i’m gonna make every paycheck. Sure, I could go do my job at another company and make a lil more money salary wise. But benefits are a huge factor for me. Healthcare coverage is extremely important. In one year alone, mine paid as much as my salary, in medical bills. Also, personal time off instead of having “block” (week) vacations also pays better for me, so i can take a day off with pay when needed, or a week for vacation. I love my job, so the pay is fine and the benefits are reasonable.

JLeslie's avatar

@m_angelique Ugh, when I worked for department stores you had to take of a week at a time, you could not break it up, I hated that, and I still don’t see the logic in it.

m_angelique's avatar

My company used to do that. Now instead of 4 weeks vacation I get 28 days of personal time off that I can take when needed. One day at a time :)

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I’m going to be a Pharmacy Tech in the next 9 months and I heard that they make between 45 to 90K. I’ve always worked retail and never really broke the 1,000 dollars on a regular basis. For now, I’d take the 90K. Be smart with it and save. I’d like good health benefits. I really don’t get sick much. I usually make my life fit around work, so weekends and evenings off would be fine. Take a vacation of 3 or 4 weeks a year.

iamthemob's avatar

@JLeslie

That often happens in the situation where there are many employees doing the same thing and a lot of people working part time, I think. I was a retail scheduling manager at one point, and trying to make sure that you have floor coverage, taking into account call-outs, etc., is a nightmare at times. Doing it in a way where you can balance (1) the employees’ need to make money, (2) the company’s need to run as efficiently as possible, (3) the floor’s need to be covered so that people aren’t stressing out, (4) individual’s general abilities, (5) individual’s record of timeliness, as well as others, is a task the more and more employees you have. The part time issue complicates it as you have to balance the full-timer versus part-timer privileges. And, watch out for overtime…always. So, policies where people can’t take days off one at a time are built-in mechanisms to prevent that. It allows the scheduling to be set more easily, because there are less variable (i.e., little vacations all over the place are scary). Also, it allows for more predictability, because people will generally plan further ahead for longer vacations, and won’t try to pick a day they just don’t want to, call out, and try to use the vacation day instead of a personal, etc. Finally, because of that, it protects against discrimination claims, as managers aren’t perfect, they may let someone take one day off here and refuse another, piss that employee off…and then, lawsuit.

@py_sue

I understand that inclination. However, the more you get paid, a lot of the times the less respect you receive. I think this is mostly try in industries where there is a lot of attrition and a lot of employee supply. I worked in NYC as a retail employee, was making like $250 a week, and was much much happier than when I was making a good amount into the six figures a year, five figures a month, and dealing with the constant fear of making a mistake and being discovered by bosses who had the intellectual maturity of 6-year-olds because they had made far too much for far too long. So, yes, a small amount of adjusting your life to your work is great. However, you often give a little, then a little more, and then it IS your life.

JLeslie's avatar

@iamthemob I was a retail manager for years. I still see no reason for it, except that it is impractical for the employee himself to take a lot of long weekends because it is likely their productivity will suffer which can mean a write up. I had 28 people in one of my departments, the most direct reports I had was 12 I think at one time. We did have two personal floating days each year separate from vacation.

iamthemob's avatar

@JLeslie

But that is the very reason…I think. One day (or three day) vacations will pretty usually be used for long weekends. And then you constantly have the issue you just described. Regardless of whether or not that would happen in an individual situation…the model is generally pretty predictive, right? So I feel like companies doing that are just trying to avoid the situation generally, and using their efficincies (HOPEFULLY :-)) in other areas.

JLeslie's avatar

@iamthemob now retailers are better at giving employees schedule weekends off anyway on a more regular basis, so I still think it sucks to have to take a week at a time. I would be fine letting my staff take 5 day weekends every fifth week, or whatever it works out as on a fair rotation. I really think they do it because it is easier for HR. I had an employee who neveR worked saturdays, our busiest day. Her productivity was almost always the lowest, but high enough not to get fired.

iamthemob's avatar

@JLeslie

I think you’re right. But it’s easier for HR because on average, you can almost guarantee there would be problems. Your examples, although suggestive, are anecdotal (no insult meant…mind you…I don’t know the emoticon to put in here to make that sound friendly…but I’ll try :-)). Is it clear that the employee’s productivity is directly linked to that? And do you think a schedule like that would work, given that people’s lives change constantly? I think that structure would add too much unpredictability, ironically – what if someone needed to take the vacation off cycle? Doesn’t that mess the cycle up? Once you put policies in place, if they’re not followed, you have the danger of lawsuits.

I think that’s basically what you’re saying though – the situation is most workable for HR. Of course, that’s done to prevent any sort of lawsuits. If you think it should be tried, that’s what you need to think about (I’m using the general “you”) when you discuss a policy shift. And as long as any experiment is temporary (and disclosed as such) the liability is limited. Unfortunately, the need to maintain equality means that people can’t easily be flexible or think creatively.

JLeslie's avatar

@iamthemob no offense taken, not to worry about how you word it. It would not have to be a perfect rotation forcing people to take their weekend. I just meant that I think it can be worked out so it is fair for the staff. I think most people would prefer to break up their weeks sometimes. I had a couple of instances where I had to approve two weeks together, another no no. Most retailers have managers work six day weeks the 5 weeks before Christmas, and then comp back days after inventory in January. In fl it was horrible! I would go as far to say abusive and impractical. Finally one of my store managers bent the rules and we only did 3 six day weeks, because you see in fl we are busier during season, in late January, and all of February and March. The company rule did not acknowledge the difference with our market. This rigidity was counterproductive and bad for morale.

iamthemob's avatar

@JLeslie

Did the manager attempt to address this with HR or anyone above? Or was there concern with reporting it and getting into trouble for breaking the rules in order to make sure that the business could function (it’s always HILARIOUS when that happens, and it happens often I’m sure…).

JLeslie's avatar

@iamthemob I have no idea. If I had to guess I think we may have been doing it behind the ivory towers back.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

@iamthemob That’s an interesting point you make. But personally, having to make the choice between gas to get to work or food for the week does not make me a happy person. I hate retail with every fiber of my being. I worked my ass off taking every shift I could. Hell, I used to get in trouble for taking extra work. Working was my life because I couldn’t afford to do anything else unless I worked. I got very tiny respect from anyone other than my close co-workers.
I did mention about what time off I’d like and it’s based on what feedback I’m getting from my teachers about what I should be expecting.

I’m sorry if this sounds bitchy. I’m in a funky sort of mood. Different strokes, I guess.

iamthemob's avatar

@py_sue

Well, it didn’t sound so much “bitchy” as like you were bitching. But…we all gotta sometimes. Otherwise…cancer.

There’s nothing wrong at all with trading time for money. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a lot of it (as I said, I did :-)). But people seem to be focused on the idea that money is the only way they could be compensated. There are so many other things that a company could due instead of increasing salary that might make everyone happier and keep the company more profitable.

There seems to be a money rut…this is the time to be creative. Remember…this is in an ideal world, but bring up barriers if you think there would be barriers to enacting what you think.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I am totally, totally sorry. I just found out someone left fluther and I really didn’t want him to. I focused it into my answer at you. So, yeah, sorry. Thanks for being cool about it. :)

Now that I’m a bit calmer, ;). An increase in salary would make me happy, duh. Not getting treated like crap while doing it, even better. In my life, the size of my paycheck has never really made a difference. Working at 8 bucks an hour or 11 made no difference in the level of crap I took from certain management types. No offense to HR people here in fluther, but I have a severe disdain for the Human Resources because of past work history.

iamthemob's avatar

@py_sue

Please…that wasn’t even bad. I don’t think that was me being cool about it cause you were fine…but I take an ego boost wherever.

INTERESTING POINT. As I head to bed…what was it about HR in general, and how would you think that could improve? I’ll throw out that I feel for HR people to an extent, because they have to maintain policies with everyone. Do you think that could be better handled?

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Oh, where do I start?
My HR managers were people who thought that their job was to pretend to listen intently to the employee’s concerns and then either ignore them or cause a problem. I’ll use one example of an HR director I had. I was working in a warehouse about 5 years ago and it wasn’t just me that had a problem with her. But we had nowhere else to go with our problems. One day I got called out on a bogus infraction and was called into her office. I started bawling because at this point, I’d taken soo much crap. I was told that if I didn’t stop crying I would be sent home in a taxi. I asked to have my sister present, she worked with me there. I was told no, I asked for another employee to be there, a witness actually, I was again told no. I was not allowed to leave until I sign the contract thingy they had saying I agreed to what they were saying. I went into the ladies bathroom to colect myself, the HR manager came down and told me to go back to work and, again If I didn’t stop crying, I would be sent home in a taxi. I was told not to speak to anyone about what happened and she watched me walk back into the warehouse to make sure I was talking to anyone. That’s pretty much the kind of stuff I get from my HR managers. I’m not saying everyone is like this, but in my experience that’s the norm for me.

I’ve watched a documentary about people who’ve gotten fired and the interviewer asked an HR manager what his job was and he stated that it was his job to pretend to care and then notify upper management if there was a problem. I would like HR to do what it says it’s going to do and help people. I’m afraid that it’s sometimes a power position that people take advantage of. It has to depend on the person who has the job whether or not they use it to really help people.

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